After a wet morning hanging around the hotel we load up for the forty mile trip to Buxton.
A Derbyshire spa town with the highest elevation of any market town in England, Buxton is located close to the county boundary with Cheshire to the west and Staffordshire to the south. Described as "the gateway to the Peak District" and famed for its natural spring water and Georgian architecture, the towns rich history features Roman settlers, royal prisoners, outlaws and noble benefactors.
Buxton Opera House, situated in The Square, is a 902-seat opera house built in 1903 and designed by Frank Matcham, one of Britain's finest theatre architects - he also designed the London Coliseum in 1904 and the London Palladium in 1910.
The Opera House ran as a successful theatre, receiving touring companies until 1927, when it was turned into a cinema. Silent films were shown until 1932 when the theatre was wired for sound to present ‘talkies’.
After the Second World War, the theatre continued to serve primarily as a cinema and gradually fell into disrepair. In 1976, it was closed and rumours circulated that it would never reopen. In 1979, however, it was restored and an orchestra pit was added to the original design.
Since then, the Opera House has been a full-time venue for stage productions, presenting approximately 450 performances per year, including opera, dance, musical theatre, pantomime, comedy, drama, children's shows and concerts....
And what a stunning venue it is, even in the pouring rain... inside the crew are already up and running, and after an early soundcheck and a Thai takeaway we’re out for our short, and by now, slick set. A great reception again, a quick getaway and a four hour drive to Norwich, the rain pounding down. Passing the bottle, sharing laughs, listening to Crowded House and The Band... oh how we laughed.